|Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hoà Bình inspected a factory in HCM City on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vũ
HCM CITY — Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình has ordered HCM City to tighten COVID-19 prevention measures at industrial zones and export processing zones as the city began its two-week social distancing period starting on Monday.
Deputy PM Bình on Monday led a delegation to inspect prevention measures at the Tân Thuận Export Processing Zone in District 7.
The team inspected production workshops, canteens and COVID-19 prevention plans at MTEX Vietnam Company Limited, Organ Needle Co Ltd, and Nikkiso Co Ltd.
Bình also inspected the dormitory of the Việt Nam National University of HCM City, which will be used as a concentrated quarantine area, and prevention measures in Cần Giờ District.
Bình ordered the city to speed up tracing of potential infections in the community, especially cases related to the cluster involving the Christian Revival Ekklesia Mission in Gò Vấp District.
The increase in the number of locally transmitted cases is mostly related to members of the mission.
According to results of viral gene sequencing, the patients were infected with the highly contagious Indian variant.
The HCM City Centre for Disease Control (HCDC) said that many people of the Christian mission had met in small rooms without wearing masks. The city will continue to take samples for large-scale testing to assess the risks in the area related to the mission.
As many as 4,524 people are now in concentrated isolation, and 5,945 cases are isolated at home and at other accommodations in the city.
The city is also randomly testing passengers arriving in Tân Sơn Nhất international airport from other provinces. No positive cases at the airport have been reported thus far.
HCDC advised people to stay calm and follow the recommendations of the health sector. They must see a doctor right away when there are COVID-19 symptoms of fever, cough, or difficulty in breathing, and must submit honest medical declarations.
In a related move, the city authorities plan to conduct mass COVID-19 testing of people in high-risk locations, including workers in industrial parks and members of the religious mission. The city’s testing capacity has risen to 100,000 samples per day.
Nguyễn Hoài Nam, deputy director of the Department of Health, said the health sector will first test people in high-risk areas, especially in Gò Vấp and Tân Phú districts, and then expand to other areas, instead of testing the entire city.
Nguyễn Thị Huỳnh Mai, chief of Office of the city’s Department of Health, said: “The health sector will prioritise large-scale testing in Gò Vấp District with 670,000 residents, as the district has recorded the highest number of positive cases related to the religion mission.”
From May 27 to 30, the HCDC took samples for COVID-19 testing from 151,487 people, including 2,722 F1s (close contacts), 148,765 other people related to locally transmitted cases, and others under screening testing.
According to HCDC, 149 cases have been confirmed positive in the city as announced by the Ministry of Health, while 57,810 cases were negative, and 93,528 cases are waiting for results.
Gò Vấp District, where the headquarters of the Christian church is based, is under lockdown for 15 days, with people not allowed to go out unless for justified reasons or for emergency situations.
Residents in the district have been visiting supermarkets and malls to buy food and other essential items in fear of scarcity during the weeks to come.
Transportation between the city and other localities has been restricted or banned in order to curb the spread of the virus, according to authorities.
The fourth wave has recorded 4,034 cases so far. The country has had 47 deaths since the beginning of the outbreak last year. — VNS